Review 2nd Annual Christmas Concert 2019

Picnic for Poki“You two are so cute,” remarked a lady after our show.” “I use your book set to practice my ukulele,” said Georgia, a returning student from last year whom I recognized from Vancouver, Canada. We were also pleased to see our photo with lengthy accompanying article in the morning newspaper.

THE HAWAIIAN SERENADERS presented a Hawaiian Style Christmas Concert at 11 a.m. on Thursday, December 19 at Kaahumanu Church grounds in Wailuku, Maui. This was our second Annual Christmas concert for the Picnic for Poki Hawaiian music concert series held on the third Thursday of the month. The weather started out sunny, then drizzled, and rained before it cleared up in time for the concert to start. We dried off our music and chairs with a towel – then on with the show!

Eight hula dancers (one man and seven women) from Na Hula Kupuna o Kaunoa joined us once again and performed six hulas (see song list below). Beverly had danced her two solos to “Silent Night” and “White Christmas” that we sang and played the day before at my Annual Ukulele Mele Christmas Party at Kaunoa. The other dancers did not rehearse with us beforehand, but had our online audio recordings of the songs to practice with on their own.

We added four songs to lengthen our show from last year and it turned out perfect at just over one hour. When I asked the audience at one point, “Are you having fun?” – “Yes”, they answered – to which I replied, “We are, too.” It was fun to sing and tell our stories behind the songs and to see the audience smiling at us. It was also nice to see familiar faces including my husband’s high school classmate and his wife who came for the first time to our concert, plus some of my ukulele and sing-along students and friends. There were about 75 people who came.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS – CLICK ON A PHOTO for the story behind it

Here is our song list of 20 songs (6 with hula) with name of my ‘ukulele strum:

  1. Jingle Bells – Waltz Strum/Hum Ding-Ah Strum with chorus in Hawaiian.
  2. Silver Bells – 2 Waltz Strums.
  3. Christmas Luau – Play Ukulele Strum with hula.
  4. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
  5. Winta Wandaland (local version of Winter Wonderland) – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  6. White Christmas – I Wanna Rest/Latin Strums with hula.
  7. Mele Kalikimaka Ia Oe – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  8. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  9. Silent Night – Pick in 6 Strum with verse in Hawaiian and with hula.
  10. Holly Jolly Christmas – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  11. Feliz Navidad – Latin Strum.
  12. O Holy Night – Pick in 6/Triplet Strums with hula.
  13. Jingle Bell Rock with Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  14. The Christmas Song – Pick in 4 Strum.
  15. Hawaiian Santa – I Wanna Rest Strum with hula.
  16. We Wish You a Merry Christmas – 2 Waltz Strums.
  17. Christmas Island – Swing/4 And Strums.
  18. Let There Be Peace on Earth – 2 Waltz Strums.
  19. Mele Kalikimaka – Hum Ding-Ah Strum with all hula dancers.
  20. Hana Hou. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

Immediately after our concert, the event organizer asked us to come back next year. What an honor!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

 

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Mele Fong is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple strumming styles for the 'ukulele. She is an experienced educator with over 50+ years experience playing the 'ukulele and entertaining worldwide. Mele performs with her husband in the duo "The Hawaiian Serenaders" and leads student groups. In 1996, the duo represented the State of Hawai'i in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mele and her husband Richard Tom were both born and raised on Oahu and now reside in Maui.